Modern-day Sri Lanka in the mind of a tourist is the land of beaches and tea plantations. But the island holds many secrets beyond its beautiful landscapes. And some of those are from the Hindu epic, the Ramayana. Visiting Ramayana sites in Sri Lanka can be mentioned as the ultimate spiritual travel experience. The list includes temples, caves, jungles, lakes and many more. Most of these places are easily accessible and have every amenity nearby. Below are a few Ramayana related places in Sri Lanka with strong folklores. It doesn’t matter whether you are a Hindu or not, these places can add special and unforgettable moments to your Sri Lanka Ramayana tour.
Only 72 km from Colombo, the Munneswaram temple is believed to be the place where King Rama prayed to Lord Shiva. This Temple complex is a collection of five temples, including a Buddhist temple. The central temple dedicated to Shiva is the most prestigious and biggest and is popular amongst Hindus.
Its present location is believed to be the Hakgala Botanical Garden. The area is known as Sita Eliya, a small beautiful village, 5 km away from Nuwara Eliya. Sita was supposedly held captive here by Demon king Ravana. Sita Eliya also has the only Sita Temple in the world. The idol of Sita has excavated from here 100 years ago. The temple is small yet beautiful and rich in Hindu architectural details.
This is situated on the southern coast between Ambalantota and Tangalle. According to Ramayana, after meeting Sita, Hanuman decided to assess the strength of the Lankan army. In the event that unfolded where Hanuman’s tail was set on fire, who in turn went on to torch some parts of King Ravana’s empire. Ussangoda is believed to be one of the areas that was torched. For the geological enthusiast, it is interesting that the nature of soil at Ussangoda is totally different from other parts of the country.
Here Lord Rama installed a Lingam, a replica of Lord Shiva. Situated 6 km north of Chillaw, Manavari is a temple where Lord Rama installed his first lingam as Lord Shiva advised. This was done as a remedy for committing Brahmincide by killing King Ravana.
Dolukanda Sanjeewanee Mountain
The beautiful rural village located near Hiripitiya is believed to be one place among the five places where parts of the piece of Himalaya that Hanuman brought fell on. Once Hanuman was asked to fetch herbs to heal seriously wounded Lord Rama and his brother Lakshmana, he had brought the whole area unable to identify the exact herb.
Located in Laggala in North Central province of Sri Lanka, Dunuvila Lake believed to be the place where Lord Rama killed king Ravana in a single combat. As the folklore goes, Lord Rama had fired the Brahmaastharam at Ravana from the lake you can still see in Dunuvila.
Situated 15 km from Sita Eliy, Divurumpola is the place where Sita Devi took her oath to prove her innocence and purity with ‘Agni Pariksha’. When Sitha Devi plunges into the sacrificial fire, Agni, lord of fire, raised Sita Devi, preventing any harm and proving her innocence. Divurumpola means place of oath in the Sinhalese language.
These tunnels prove beyond doubt the architectural brilliance of that time. A close look at these tunnels indicates that they are man-made and not natural formations. Existing tunnel entrances are also situated at Ishtripura in Welimada, Senapitiya in Halagala, Ramboda, Labookelle, Wariyapola in Matale, and Seetha Kotuwa in Hasalaka and in many more places.
An ancient temple under the patronage of a series of Chola kings, it grew rapidly and had a huge Gopuram with a thousand pillars. At the heights of its glory, the temple grounds consisted of the entire hill. With every rise comes a fall, and in 1622 the temple was destroyed by the Portuguese. It was only reconstructed after the idols of Lord Siva, Parvathi and Ganesh were found buried underground.
Most tourists make a beeline for the delightful walled town of Galle as soon as they land in Sri Lanka. According to the Ramayana here the splinter of the Sanjeevani Mountain fell during Hanuman’s flight. There is now a Hanuman statue on the site, built as a prayer to end the ethnic conflict. Get a tuk tuk from Galle to Rumassala and look for the peace pagoda.